Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Well not TV really, but DVD. I have been watching the eccentric and refined Belgian detective and it is really bloody good fun. It is not the mystery or the whodunit suspense , since I usually know who the murderer/thief is after the first few scenes (having read most of the books). It is fun nonetheless because it is crisp, because of the quaint language, and because of David Suchets portrayal of Poirot. David Suchet as Poirot is charming and shrewd while retaining Poirots dandy-ness and fussiness.

There have been other on screen appearances of Poirot by actors Austin Trevor (played Poirot in Alibi and Black Coffee), and Albert Finney ( played Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express) . I read that Agatha Christie gave her stamp of approval to Albert Finney's Poirot. He was even nominated for an Oscar and was considered by many as the definitive Poirot. I don't agree- too well built. What do you think? (and he looks just a little bit like Kamal Hassan no?)

Albert Finney as Poirot
Peter Ustinov also played Poirot a total of six times, (He played Poirot in Evil under the Sun -this one has been on TV often). In my opinion he was least like Poirot, being tall and grey haired. Just look at him-

Peter Ustinov as Poirot

David Suchet is the closest to the Poirot I had imagined from the books. He has all Poirot's key characteristics that find their way into all the books - his egg shaped head, his luxurious black moustaches and always being neat and impeccably dressed. Agatha Christie in The Murder on the Orient Express describes Poirot as a "small lean man" David Suchet is anything but lean, but somehow I have never thought of Poirot as lean, considering his elaborate meals and hot chocolate - lean does not fit with Poirot.

David Suchet as Poirot

The actor who plays Hastings is - right amount of bumbling but not in a slapstick obvious kind of way. Similarly Inspector Japp is also the right amount of clueless.

All the performances hit just the right key. Tonight I will find out what happened to Prince Farouq' ruby when he foolishly lets his date wear it and she simply walks away with it.


  1. I have to admit that once I watched David Suchet, I couldn't imagine Poirot being anyone else. That picture stayed with me as I continued to read the books.

  2. Oh, I have consciously never watched any Agatha Christie movie, just because I didn't want my mental image of Poirot and Miss Marple ruined, but I must agree, David Suchet comes the closest. I watched a bit of Evil under the Sun and didn't feel Peter Ustinov was right for the role! But I still prefer the books---hubby dear offered to gift me the DVD's and I declined!Should I change my mind?

  3. @M: i have commented on your comment elsewhere

    @lak: the dvds are great fun esp if youve read the books thrice over like me. I end up reading it the second time because i forget having read it the first time and the reading third time around is terrible joblessness. When you are that saturated dvds can do no harm.